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See Orange County’s plan to protect the most vulnerable from extreme heat

ORLANDO, Fla. — Orange County has a plan to tackle extreme heat.

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Last year, the county saw 14 days during which the heat index was higher than 108 degrees.

On Tuesday, officials discussed protecting the vulnerable when it gets that hot.

During the last several weeks, the county said Orange County Fire Rescue has visited 225 nursing homes and senior living facilities, ensuring that A/C and backup generators are working ahead of the hot summer days to come.

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“We’ve developed a very active and aggressive plan,” said Danny Banks, deputy county administrator of public safety. “It has started already, and we’re prepared to do it the rest of the summer.”

The county also said it has identified 36 places where people, including the homeless, can go to cool off.

Daytime cooling shelters will open when heat advisories are issued, meaning the heat index must reach 108 degrees or more.

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About 1,600 residents can be served in total.

Lynx will also offer free rides to anyone needing to get to an air conditioned space.

“That will occur every time we have a heat advisory in Orange County,” Banks said.

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When the heat index exceeds 113 degrees, the county said it will also ensure water is distributed to those in need.

It said it will work with the Homeless Services Network and community centers to distribute water bottles.

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Jason Kelly

Jason Kelly, WFTV.com

Jason Kelly joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2014. He serves as the station's Digital Executive Producer.

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